Mountain Lion Spotted in Council Bluffs Neighborhood - FOX 42: Omaha News, Sports and Weather; |

Mountain Lion Spotted in Council Bluffs Neighborhood

Nicole Ebat

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA(KPTM)-- A Council Bluffs woman says she came close to meeting a mountain lion in her neighbor's backyard.

Luckily, it made its way back up into the woods.

Still, a nearby neighbor summed up her feelings: "that's getting kinda close".

Steve Batt said he and his wife heard a growl near their house about a week ago, but haven't seen anything. He did note the wildlife in the area had been acting a bit strange.

"There's usually a herd of deer out here all the time, but they haven't been around the last three or four days," he said. "They seemed more spooked than usual."

Last week there were at least two mountain lion sightings in Nebraska. A landscaper reported seeing one in between a high school and elementary school in Bennington.

The other mountain lion was shot and killed by a hunter near Ainsworth after he said it followed him and then circled in front of his path.

Nebraska's Game and Parks Commission said the hunter was justified in shooting the cougar.

Last year Nebraska had 73 confirmed sightings.

"What we think is happening is that they're following these green spaces like bike trails or Papio creeks and ending up in this area, probably coming from Colorado or South Dakota," said Dan Cassidy, General Curator with the Henry Doorly Zoo.

If you do see a mountain lion, here's some tips from NGPC:

      *Don't run, don't even turn your back on it.

      *Back away slowly

      *Yell and wave your arms to make yourself look bigger

      *If you do get attacked, be prepared to fight back with a rock or even your bare hands.

The NGPC says mountain lions have been able to be fought off with bare hands.

What you don't want to do is shoot a mountain lion without a good reason. IN Nebraska, unlawfully killing one is punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and three months in jail.

Mountain lions are not protected species in Iowa.

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